Feb. 9 - Summary of business headlines: Greek austerity deal fails to excite Wall Street; Barack Obama and Italy's Mario Monti meet at White House; Banks agree to landmark $25 billion settlement. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Greeks finally came up with an austerity package, which will open the door for another bailout, but the announcement was met with little excitement. Some investors say the good news was already priced in to the market, but others say Wall Street is wondering: what's next? Mike Finnegan is chief investment officer at Principal Funds. SOUNDBITE: MIKE FINNEGAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, PRINCIPAL FUNDS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The one thing we sort of know and understand about Europe is that they tend to things very intervally, incrementally. Clearly this sort of orderly restructuring of Greek debt they've been working on needs to get resolved; people need to see progress; there are other countries that have similar predicament." Where the crisis is headed next was likely a topic of discussion as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti made his first visit to the White House since getting the job. In domestic news, Some of America's biggest banks - including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and lender Ally Financial, have agreed to pay up $25 billion to settle claims of improper foreclosure filings and deceptive practices. There's hope the deal will help clean up the foreclosure mess and ease the housing market's strain on the economy. Pespi's full-year outlook lacked the pep Wall Street was thirsty for. The beverage and snacks company is cutting almost 9,000 jobs worldwide and boosting advertising spending in hopes of revitalizing the brand. Wall Street posted small gains - lacking conviction to move higher. European shares climbed higher, but gains were not spectacular either. Conway Gittens, Reuters.